Zalman isn't the first name you think of when we bring up solid state drives, but their reputation for high quality and long lasting products certainly doesn't hurt them in this market. Over the years, Zalman has delivered a number of innovative products to the market, many of them based on quiet computing principals.
An SSD product line fits right in with their design philosophy. The SSD market is saturated though and it's very difficult to get ahead without a controller of your own or a fab for manufacturing NAND flash. Even if you have your own SSD producing factory, this is a tough market to be in.
To distinguish themselves Zalman took a page from their previous products and focused on quality and value. The F1 240GB unit we looked at today ships in a nice light, brushed aluminum base that matches several of its PC cases. Zalman also delivers free data migration software with their F Series SSDs, a step up over many other SSD makers and resellers. The intense blue desktop adapter bracket is also a nice touch, but it's all standard these days as is the three year warranty.
On the performance front the Zalman F1 240GB is right in the middle of the road for SandForce drives. This is a very tight group that requires a lot of distinction to break away from the pack. One way Zalman can separate themselves from everyone else is price, but sadly the F1 is not breaking new ground in that fight either. While the F1 240GB is at the lower end of the scale in most of the countries we found it for sale in, there were still a few companies lower in every country.
Zalman didn't bring the F1 to the United States of America and we don't blame them for it, this is easily the hottest contested market with SSDs from all over the world fighting it out for our government printed paper.